Showing posts with label Comedy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comedy. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

30 Rock and Blackface


I support this, even if I don't completely understand it:
Four episodes of 30 Rock, including two featuring Jane Krakowski’s Jenna character in blackface, are being removed from subscription streaming services Hulu and Amazon Prime and have also been made unavailable for sale on purchase platforms such as iTunes and Google Play. The episodes, which will no longer air on traditional TV either, were pulled at the request of NBCUniversal executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. A source tells Vulture the four episodes, some of which have already vanished, should be gone by the end of this week.
“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation,” Fey wrote in a letter to the platforms that streamed or sold 30 Rock. “I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request.”

You have to adapt to the times in which we live. I totally get that. I watched every episode of 30 Rock and I loved the show. When these episodes aired, there was no intention of advancing any kind of racist agenda. It was intended to mock anyone who thought going out and performing in blackface was acceptable or reasonable. It was always the intention of the show to highlight just how awful the "Jenna" character was in terms of being self-centered and delusional.

There was little, if any, outcry when these episodes aired, but that's not the standard that should apply. Those sentiments should not hurt people, and so I can understand why they're being pulled. I don't think this should extend to any kind of condemnation for the people who made this because I just don't see how they weren't advancing a hateful agenda when they made these episodes.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Samantha Bee is the Cure for What Ails You


This is more helpful than anything we're getting out of Trump's bumblefuck regime:
“I’m in the woods right now, both metaphorically and literally,” said Samantha Bee on a socially distanced episode of Full Frontal. “As surreal as it seems, the coronavirus pandemic has changed how most of us live our lives.”
“With millions in isolation and hundreds of thousands infected now is the time to put aside our differences and come together,” she continued, showing a clip of spring breakers defying social distance measures in Florida, “Well, not come together like these idiots.”

Bee also addressed the pandemic’s devastating impact on the economy – restaurants alone could lose $225bn in the next three months (for scale, “that’s four and a half Michael Bloombergs,” said Bee).
“Unfortunately, if your job isn’t considered essential or if you’re one of the 70% of people who can’t work remotely, there’s a good chance you’re not working at all. And if you are working remotely, there’s a 50% chance you’ve accidentally shown your co-workers what you look like on the toilet. Even if you can go back to the office eventually … you really shouldn’t.”

The economic impact of coronavirus has created a catch-22, said Bee: if you do have a job, you could be forced to work in dangerous conditions. For example, last week Amazon discovered a coronavirus case in one of its New York warehouses, and “while they’re being generous enough to offer a whole extra $2 an hour for working during a plague”, Bee deadpanned, they offered paid time off only if workers tested positive.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but those tests are kind of hard to come by right now,” Bee said. “You have to be, like, 25% famous to get tested. It’s the new getting verified on Twitter.”
If Samantha Bee isn't already on your radar, you should find a way to engage with what she's doing. They should have made her the host of the Daily Show, and someone will have to find a more prominent platform for her to work with. She is vastly better than the majority of mediocre white men who still have shows on television.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Jesus Rolls


Everything about this film looks wonderful:
Riding Off Into the Sunset: The Jesus Rolls feels less like an update of Blier’s blithe style and more like the kind of comedic whatsits of Italian directors Dino Risi, Mario Monicelli, Pietro Germi, and Alberto Lattuada. But this isn’t the first time the Italian Turturro has dipped a toe in the sandbox of Italian film: His 2005 musical Romance and Cigarettes has sincere Germi-influenced anarchy in its DNA; his 2010 historical drama Passione is all about the songs and dances found in Naples; he’s adapted a play set in pre-industrial Rome (Illuminata); and he’s acted for Palme d’Or winning Italian director Nanni Moretti among others of his fellow countrymen. 
That cultural affection is all over this film. Turturro manages to make upstate New York look like the Italian countryside, the dance breaks and wine on every table are snagged from a midcentury Italian romp, and the film liberally breathes between the gags. Scenes of Turturro and Cannavale riding innumerable trains to flee police are downright soothing, as is an extended detour at a beach house. This is a movie all about the weird pleasures of hanging out with friends who never say no to sensation, and the only time the fun threatens to come to an end are when they get close to death, which, thanks to the sweet and mournful tone, feels almost welcome.
It may not be the film you want, and there might only be a handful of super heroes in it, but this is the film America needs right now.

Monday, February 24, 2020

He's Not Having It


The In-Betweeners was one of those shows that I binge-watched when I discovered it, and I was always amazed that they were able to capture the pathos of being a teenager so effortlessly. The success of the show turned out to be a nightmare for Simon Bird:
Simon Bird has once again ruled out the possibility of a future reunion of The Inbetweeners.
The hugely popular sitcom ran for three seasons between 2008 and 2010 before two movies were released in 2011 and 2014.
The four primary castmembers reunited in January 2019 for the widely-derided non-scripted special Fwends Reunited, and Bird — who played Will MacKenzie in the series — later said that a future Inbetweeners reboot would “be a bit depressing for everyone”.
This is what kills good art. The negative reaction to their reunion special ought to be kept in mind by everyone who plans to watch the cast of Friends do roughly the exact same thing.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Community


This is great news:
The return of hit sitcom Community is looking much more likely now, as cast member Alison Brie has taken to Reddit to reveal discussions around a potential film are ongoing. 
Brie played Annie Edison in all six seasons of the NBC comedy, which told the story of an eclectic group of students at a community college in the fictional town of Greendale, Colorado. Now, five years after the final episodes aired, Brie has commented on continued fan speculation about a movie. 
Asked whether there was “any news about the Community movie” during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Q&A session, Brie responded: “[I’ve] actually got an interesting call about it this week…stay tuned…”
I'm not a purist, but I want Dan Harmon to run this thing if it happens. I want Paget Brewster and Keith David to be a part of it, too. I will mourn Leonard, of course because Richard Erdman was pitch perfect every chance he got to deliver a line.

If, for some reason, it does not involve Chevy Chase, I am not going to be upset.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Terry Jones 1942-2020


As John Cleese said today, two down, four to go.

The death of Terry Jones is not an unexpected thing, but it stings and hurts all the more because his final years were spent suffering from dementia. My thoughts are with his family and, no matter who you are, dealing with a loss like this is a difficult but ultimately human experience.

Jones was a very learned comedian, which meant that he did smart things for laughs. Oh, sure. He was naked a lot, but that was just part of his charm. He leaves behind a body of work that has few equals.

If you want some insight as to how brilliant he was, pick up one of his books. I have a book of scripts for Ripping Yarns, and it has always been a favorite, something I could never part with. And then there's his medieval research, Who Murdered Chaucer?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Archived Strictly for Satirical Purposes




Unsexed males possess no self awareness. This HAS to be satire. There is no other explanation.


Until recently, I had never read any of the original “gamers are dead” articles, assuming they would contain nothing but the standard leftist drivel to which we’ve become accustomed. The only likely outcome of reading them would be an increase in my blood pressure. Then, while watching a video about GamerGate, I clicked on a link to an archive of one of the original articles, “A Guide To Ending Gamers” by Devin Wilson at Gamasutra.


Full disclosure: I am far from a hardcore gamer. I play Magic The Gathering and Minecraft, and am a recovering WoW addict. As a kid, I played Wolfenstein, Doom, and Mario Brothers. In college it was Duke Nukem and Unreal Tournament. I’m a casual gamer who occasionally goes nuts with a particular game, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking or reading about games. So I hadn’t even heard of Kotaku or Gamasutra before August 2014.


I happened to be on Reddit on the day of the original Quinn event and saw the threads full of deleted comments. As I learned more about what was happening, I began to nurture the hope that what I’d been waiting for was finally happening: the men of my generation were waking up. My interest in and support of GamerGate comes primarily from two sources:


  • My absolute disdain for all things Politically Correct

  • My rejection of the gradual, deliberate process of feminization Western society has been undergoing since the second half of the 20th century.



I want to protect gaming because of what it represents as because of the entertainment value I get out of it.


Games Are Fun



In any case, I was scrolling down through the article’s list of strategies for eliminating gamers, trying to keep an open mind, and actually thinking there were one or two somewhat valid points. Then I got to item #11:



We stop upholding “fun” as the universal, ultimate criterion for a game’s relevance. It’s a meaningless ideal at best and a poisonous priority at worst. Fun is a neurological trick. Plenty of categorically unhealthy things are “fun”. Let’s try for something more. Many of the alternatives will have similarly fuzzy definitions, but let’s aspire to qualities like “edifying”, “healing”, “pro-social”, or even “enlightening”. I encourage you to decide upon your own alternatives to “fun” in games (while avoiding terms like “cool” and “awesome” and any other word that simply caters to existing, unexamined biases).



That paragraph represents everything that is wrong with social justice thinking in less than 100 words.


Madness Is Real



What this person is saying is that “fun” is not an essential element of a “game”. Not only is it not necessary, it’s either a “meaningless ideal” or a “poisonous priority”. Poisonous, one assumes, because of the unfortunate fact that focusing development effort on creating a fun experience takes away from time spent making it “edifying”.


There are two likely explanations for how an otherwise intelligent, educated person could reach a conclusion so off-base, so fundamentally lacking in anything resembling validity, that it’s difficult to even describe it as wrong:


The Charitable Explanation: Operating almost entirely in a world of abstractions, as academics often do, it’s easy to get so removed from the reality on the ground that you overlook critical details. This is the “absent-minded professor” image, and it offers the benefit of the doubt insofar as it assumes an absence of negative intent.


The Ideological Explanation: For the fanatic, the goals of the revolution are all that matter. The end justifies the means; the importance of making the vision a reality warps the decision-making process and critical thinking faculties of even the most brilliant minds. Essential details are overlooked because they are obscured by emotions, desires, and rote imperatives. This yields the phenomenon we know of as “doublethink” or “cognitive dissonance”.


I don’t know what was going on in the mind of Mr. Wilson; I know which explanation I think is the most likely, but to be honest, in many ways it doesn’t matter. Either leftists like Devin are living in a dream world that causes them to ignore reality, or they ignore reality in order to bring their dream world into being.


Boys Will Be Boys



The most obvious flaw, alluded to earlier, in this reasoning is that video games will no longer exist as a medium in which to promote social good if they are not fun: no matter how well-designed for this purpose, their “healing” powers will go to waste because no one will play them. Leftists appear not to grasp this basic truth because they believe, or behave exactly as though they believed, that people can be programmed like a computer, with each program operating unaffected by the others. They start from a snapshot of current activity in aggregate, try to stamp out elements they object to, and assume there will be no unintended consequences.


As we saw last century with the Soviet Union, this model, while based on shallow truths, has no durability in the real world. People can be convinced to keep working, fighting, and trading for a time if totalitarian authority is maintained through fear, information control, and other forms of manipulation. But there are always unintended consequences of social engineering and central planning that ignores local realities.


By the time the Soviet Union collapsed, it was littered with things like factories producing farm equipment that was worth less than its component parts, because not only did the end product not work, but the cost of salvaging the components was too high to be economical. This will be the result if we allow feminists and other peddlers of academic sanctimony to continue to interfere with the video game marketplace and turn it into a PC haven.


I believe this effect is intentional, and that the feminist campaign to destroy gaming is just one piece of a larger strategy to eliminate or co-opt masculinity in all its forms. Video games are one of the few media that cater more to male than female entertainment preferences: they are dominated by games involving sports, war, and fighting, and often contain images of the female body that appeal to male sexuality. A lot of young men and boys play video games, and they can be coarse, vulgar, and unwelcoming to outsiders.


I say: So what? “Boys will be boys” is now treated as something akin to a Satanic incantation, but it has the inconvenient and feminist-galling audacity of being true. Boys and girls compared to men and women are different—we have different tastes, needs, proclivities, and comfort zones. Video games manifest this basic truth, and are not, as leftists would like us to believe, based on arbitrary, socially constructed gender distinctions designed to give one half of the population advantages over the other half.


Man The Battlements



If you imagine the world of entertainment or leisure generally as a map, video games are one of the few geographic regions where boys are still allowed to be boys, and this is simply not tolerable to feminists. They look at that territory and see a dark black stain on the pink-tinted expanse of modern culture. Feminine sensibilities and political correctness dominate the traditional media, Hollywood, academia, and publishing, while video games serve a niche market that, though large in absolute numbers, impacts a far smaller percentage of the population than other media. In other words, they have us surrounded.


But what they—and most men—don’t appear to understand is that the only reason things have gotten this far is that we haven’t been fighting back. Men have spent 50 years meekly retreating, conceding cultural territory, and even defecting to the other side. It has taken a blatant, undisguised assault on some of the least-threatening members of the male population, people who mostly just want to enjoy their hobby in peace.


This is a test, and the answer is not to become an MRA so you can try to fight the feminists on their own well-fortified ground. The answer is to become a man in the traditional sense: self-sufficient, productive, ambitious, knowledgeable about the world you live in, and resistant to female emotional manipulation. Women who understand the benefits they get from living in a masculine environment will do what the majority of women do best: follow and support you, or get out of your way. The rest, alone, bitter, and without any offspring to indoctrinate as future feminists, will join their ideological fellow-travelers in the dustbin of history.